Mudcat Café message #3959136 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #165063   Message #3959136
Posted By: Richie
29-Oct-18 - 05:10 PM
Thread Name: Origins: James Madison Carpenter- Child Ballads 5
Subject: RE: Origins: James Madison Carpenter- Child Ballads 5

I've always considered Rosengård to have been thought of as a place- as in "Sven of the town of Roosengård." So here it could be transcribed: "Son of Roosengård." Originally this may not have been so. Anyone?

The opening stanza of this archaic Swedish ballad establishes the dialogue between the "son in the rose garden" and "Käre Moder wår (vår)" which is literally "dear mother ours." The "ours" refers to the other children and in stanza 8 -- there is a brother. The last line of the opening stanza "- i wänten oss aldrig" translates literally to: "Expect us never." The "us" apparently referring to the dead brother and the "son in the rose garden." These "plural" references (mother ours/ expect us) make more sense to be singular (mother mine/ expect me) but including the dead brother adds a morbid touch. The way the poem approaches the death in a circular pattern adds suspense to the curious dialogue. The mother suggests the father will forgive him and take him back but the son says he thinks otherwise. The son will leave where the father cannot find him. The "penance" stanzas begin with stanza 26 and continue to the end (stanza 33). What is made clear by the ending is that: the son (and his brother who is murdered) will not return. No reason is given for the murder of the fallen brother who is called a "scoundrel" showing that there was no love between the two. The ballad has been called "semi-comic" but rather seem to be an elaboration of what was an unknown shorter, coarser original version. The "blood" of the slain brother is not present. However the question of blood, common in British/American versions is also common in the Scandinavian variants:

Why is your sword so bloody?
Sven in Rosengård
I've killed my brother
Dear mother mine [standard transcript]

It's safe to assume this c. 1640 Swedish version is a "poetic" recreation of the standard ballad which dates the original ballad in Scandinavia back to the early 1600s.